Jeffrey Sarmiento marries Culture and History in glass
Sarmiento is a Reader in Glass and the Programme Leader of MA Glass at the University of Sunderland.
The exhibition ‘Constructions” explores the cultural heritage of the artist, alongside with experiences and reflections on living for years in the USA, Norway and now in the North East. His show merges family and history together, constructing the cultural identity of Sarmiento.
‘Constructions’ is presented in three different layers: on tables, on walls and on the floor.
At first view, you feel like you are in another one common art show. Works on the walls, some other on the floor and one or two big works to attract you attention. However, in the case of Sarmiento’s exhibition you feel different while you walk through the room. It is not just a simple show. In this case the artist has managed to marry together history and art, glass and photography.
The more someone walks through the different projects, the more she will feel like turning the pages of a book. Photographs and deep thoughts will carry you across America, Philippines, Norway and North East. In sequence his work, “Two mirror image Photographs” have the shape of an angle of 90 degrees. The one photo captures the runners of Jarrow race and the other shows a group of captured Philippine. The whole work was in the shape of a wall made from bricks. Its one surface was retail while the other was irregular.
His artwork “Encyclopaedia” attracted me the most. It is at the entrance of the show and consists works both on a table and on a wall. 3D screen printed individual glass with pictures that were printed, packed together and fused in one block . On the table there, one big formed glass has images from various sources of the artist; for example, there is one image with diagrams of Sarmiento’s father who was a Physician. The work is colourful and gives you the opportunity to analyse it from any angle you wish to.
His “Muse” is also a great piece. It is the portrait of a feminine figure, who wears traditional Philippine clothing and has a Philippine background. This portrait is not a usual one. It is not only made with glass, but is made through small balls of glass. The artist cut by hard the piece of glass and put it on a head in order to be soften and loose its edges and corners. Then piece by piece he created this amazing portrait.
Sarmiento’s exhibition really is worth a visit. It is fresh, contemporary and unique. It is not a simple art exhibition. It is a marriage between history and art. Just a single look through each glass work and you will be able to travel through his life and experiences.
You can visit “Constructions” at National Glass Centre in Sunderland, everyday until Sunday 5th January 2014.